MISD receives Apple Distinguished Program award for innovation and excellence and serves as model for other schools

December 12, 2016 – The Mercer Island School District accepted its award as an Apple Distinguished Program for its implementation of iPad in the classroom at the December 8 School Board meeting. This is the second time Apple has bestowed this award upon the Mercer Island School District. 

The Apple Distinguished Program designation is reserved for programs that meet criteria for innovation, leadership, and educational excellence, and demonstrate a clear vision of exemplary learning environments.

Presenting the award on behalf of Apple Education in Washington state were Marc Melkonian, systems engineer, Mark Billington, account executive, and Pete Vraspir, development executive. 

Accepting the award on behalf of the District at the School Board meeting was Clay Laughary, technology integration specialist.

“Clay and his four Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) colleagues are teacher leaders and deserving of special recognition,” said Superintendent Dr. Gary Plano. “They work alongside their peers providing 'just-in-time' professional development that enriches the learning environment every day.  Jennifer Wright, executive director of Learning Services, has been instrumental in leading our technology transformation efforts, since the inception of placing technology devices in classrooms well over a decade ago.”

Earlier in the day, Mercer Island hosted a tour for visitors from schools around the state, demonstrating the use of iPads in classrooms at Mercer Island High School, Islander Middle School and Lakeridge Elementary. MISD’s 1:1 iPad program currently extends from grades four through 12, with 3,000 devices now in use district-wide.


Contact: Craig Degginger, 206-236-4514


Apple Award presentation









From left, Marc Melkonian, systems engineer, Washington State Apple Education; Mark Billington, account executive, Clay Laughary, technology TOSA, Jennifer Wright, executive director of Learning Services, and Pete Vraspir, development executive.

IMS Apple Education tour












Visitors from Apple and other schools view students using iPads at Islander Middle School.